Monday, February 27, 2006

Defining a text message.

It is a definition in itself, but to clarify and to leave no room for questions or arguments...
A text message is electronic writing in its pure form. Like some have pointed out in class it is easy to add effects, bells and whistles to a blog or any other more elaborate electronic writing space. But text messaging using a phone keeps the writing in its pure form and the author/reader does not need to add anything else to it. The language has to be precise and clear. In most cases it is clear so there is no need for interpretation about tone or any other element that might confuse the meaning. Personally I wish people talked like they texed. Most people do not like to have to push the buttons so many times so they keep the point short, important and precise. Many people in my opinion talk to much and I feel most talk that much just because they like the sound of their own voice. The phone is the tool while the text messaging is space. IT is not perfect, as is nothing in life, but it is a good writing space.


Blogger jmorris said...

Let me start out by saying that I think you opinions are valid, and I respect you firm stance on the concept of texting as purely a writing space where brevity and conciseness are the rule. Nevertheless, I must disagree. What about picture phones? One can send texts such as ' chek out dis pic" followed by the transmission of the picture. Without the picture, that text means nothing, so that must mean that texting is not always "language in its purest form." Furthermore, I would like to point out that not all texting is created equal. I have received texts that looked like random splatters of the alphabet, and yet my friend was later aghast to find that I didn't understand his "abbreviations." I think you may want to reexamine the concept of electronic communication, and see if texting is really as clear cut as it seems to you.

11:28 PM  
Blogger Resa said...

Very good start. I liked how you mentioned that text messages are short and to the point. However you may want to expand on that or put it at the begining of your blog rather than at the end. Perhaps say why they are short and precise (ie. b/c there is a limited space,they are usually sent in a somewhat urgent state, instant, or they are spontaneous). Maybe even say what the purpose and history is of text messaging for those who aren't avid texters like myself. I loved how you related the communication passed through text messages to real life. I agree, many people do speak to hear thier own voices, which is why personally i like texting. I can say what i need to say without someone expecting a long un-neccessary explanation.

^Jared does have a point above by questioning picture messaging, but that is picture messaging not text messaging. Be sure to define texting the way you want to define it. Maybe explain the new types with smileys and photos and strange lingo, and argue that that is not text messaging in raw form.

12:19 PM  
Blogger cgabor said...

Tyler --

I had some of the same questions that Jared had. Is all text messaging easy to understadn and easy to compose, or is there in fact a specialized vocabulary (mostly abbreviations)? What about the writer who does not know these abbreviations? Should they stay away from this writing space? Are there venues for learning the specialzed language of texting?
And what about the question of oral vs. written communciation? Is there an aspect of text messaging that is more like speaking, or is it always only writing? I would have liked much more of an explicit defintion and explicit sense of what criteria you are using for your review.
You are absolutely right that most people use text messaging to get to the point succinctly about something like where to meet for dinner. However, as we have been talking about in class, many rhetorical situations call for more extended defintions. This assignment is one of those situations where brevity is not the best rhetorical strategy because it leaves too many things up in the air for the reader, which can lead readers to dismiss your claim for lack of evidence.

12:21 PM  

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